What's a Dental Hygienist? Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @ 11:23:46

You know, I had never made an appointment to see a Dental Hygienist up until a few years ago...in fact I never knew they existed to be honest.  I thought the Dentist and the Dental Assistant did everything, the cleaning, sucking spit, the drilling and filling...you name it.  

But, think back to the last time you went to the dentist’s office for an appointment...remember that person who did most of the work on your teeth before the dentist came in to talk to you? Odds are, you saw far more of your Dental Hygienist than you did of your Dentist while you were there, unless you needed a particularly complex procedure done. That should give you some idea of what a Dental Hygienist does. Some of the duties include:

  • Screening patients to assess their oral health and look for conditions that may require intervention.
  • Taking x-rays of patients’ mouths and developing those x-rays.
  • Making impressions of teeth for casts.
  • Removing plaque from the teeth, (this is the really fun bit)
  • Providing fluoride treatments and sealants to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Cleaning teeth by brushing and flossing for patients.
  • Providing patients with suggestions regarding diet as well as dental hygiene procedures.
  • Routine office work involving documentation and record keeping.

Since my enlightement, seeing my Hygienist is something I now do every 6 months...go on, try it...your mouth (and your hip pocket) will thank you!